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Arranging a Buffet Supper


Published 1946
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The American tradition of the buffet supper is shown in its simple preparation. A "must" for the homemaker or hostess.

One of the satellite films that accompanied Let's Give a Tea. See also Arranging the Tea Table.


Run time 0:05:59
Production Company Simmel-Meservey
Audio/Visual sound, color

Reviews

Reviewer: aquariuspurple - - June 8, 2014
Subject: So much fuss
Unless you're obsessive-compulsive, this is such pointless fuss over an informal gathering. They're so anal about where every little plate and spoon are, even the way it's decorated. Why even bother? What guests would be comfortable at such a gathering?
Reviewer: PRG - - March 29, 2005
Subject: Good advice
Anyone who has gone to a buffet or tea, and has been unable to obtain food without knocking something over or bumping into someone else trying to extract their cutlery from a disorderly pile might wish their host had watched this film. Of course it is a product of its day, but there isn't anything here that wouldn't be taught to employees of a good, modern catering company. My only puzzle is why the film makers thought it neccesary to make this film and the one about a tea. They seem almost identical.
Reviewer: Marysz - - February 14, 2004
Subject: Grim Postwar Buffet Dinner
This 1946 film is part of a dreary etiquette series, the other two of which are Arranging the Tea Table, Lets Give a Tea. These films were an omen of the upcoming conformity and domesticity of the nineteen-fifties. They employ the same two beleaguered womenone older woman who is supposedly in charge and one younger one. The two women act out in an almost somnambulistic way the directions of an unseen male narrator. The directions are simple-minded and obviousthe tablecloth should be laid squarely and smoothly with the sides hanging evenly. We then move on to the earth-shaking matter of the centerpiece and the proper arrangement of forks. The narrator is constantly talking about the need for caring and consideration, but it has a creepy connotation herethe women are zombie-like as we watch them assemble this grim buffet dinner. Women of our mothers and grandmothers generation, who competently built tanks and planes during World War II a few years earlier, were now being infantilized and put in their place in depressing films like these. The fact that we never see any of the supposed guests for the tea parties or buffet suppers planned in these films gives them a strange Waiting for Godot kind of ambiance.
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - November 13, 2003
Subject:
That any intelligent person would care enough about this subject and think it is so important as to make a film about it is astonding. Martha Stewart must have grown up on this.
Reviewer: cashel - - September 16, 2003
Subject: candlelight in tv series, keeping up appearences
In the english tv series, mrs bucket(pronounced bouquet) is famous for her candlelight suppers..Surely she learnt everything from this film. Strange how time transforms the important to the ridiculous
Reviewer: dynayellow - - September 16, 2003
Subject: It's pronounced
Not nearly as entertaining as the Dinner Party short, but still, entertaining means RESPONSABILITY, darn it! Everything must be right, or you might as well spit in your guests' faces as soon as they walk in the door!

Ultimately, this short gets the message right: you should set everything up for their convenience and enjoyment. It's just the totalitarian tone that makes it such a delight to watch.
Reviewer: K.P. Lee - - August 22, 2003
Subject: Who still wants to entertain?
Oppressive etiquette, this (and "Arranging the Tea Table") present a world with rules for everything. And do I mean everything! Candlesticks are wrong wrong wrong!
Reviewer: Spuzz - - August 22, 2003
Subject: OH! You're supposed to go AROUND the table???
You think you've seen it all on Prelinger. Dancing Cigarrettes, Stupifying religious videoss etc etc. So when one encounters a title such as this, one rubs his hands till blisters appear over what will happen, and this movie doesn't dissapoint in the slightest. A VERY dubfounded woman doesnt know the PROPER way of arranging a BIFFET! Is it THAT hard? Soon grey haired women arrives and tells stupid woman, you see, you put the plates out first, so the guests can take a plate first, rather then piling the food on their sleeves. What to serve ( a nice combination of hot and cold dishes) and how to serve drinks. There, that was'nt so hard was it? Well, no.. and I didn't neeed this film to tell me either! A MUST SEE on this site!
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - July 27, 2003
Subject: Arranging a Buffet Supper
This is a Simmel-Misservey manners film, so there are rules, rules, and more rules for setting up a buffet supper. No candles on the buffet table and the centerpiece must go EXACTLY in the center. If you don't arrange the forks correctly, your party will be a complete flop and everybody will hate you. The purpose of all this is gracious living.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
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